The issue of immigration reform has been getting a lot of attention of late, especially with the failure of the lame duck congress to pass legislation dubbed by supporters as the Dream Act; a name chosen to improve its chances of passage. The act itself is worthy of a blog, but the name of the act is something to think about, especially when taken in context of the trend in the media to recast those who are not citizens in as positive a light as possible. Most conservatives believe the liberal media has become the voice box of the leftist agenda. This has become even more apparent as the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) has issued a directive to modify the AP rule for referring to those non-citizens.
There is a fundamental problem with those who wish amnesty for these individuals: the law. The underlying issue is that to be considered a citizen of these United States, certain conditions must be met. Anyone wishing to reside here without becoming a citizen must follow prescribed rules. The nature of residing here without citizenship is temporary. A non-citizen must leave after a prescribed time and return to their homeland. Any non-citizen residing in this country after that time, or coming into the country without proper documentation is committing a crime. That is the simple fact. Any person who enters a foreign country is an alien. That means when someone goes into another country, even on vacation, that person is an alien. When you went to Cozumel, you were an alien. When you went to Switzerland to ski, you were an alien. That is the true meaning of the word. Of course, if a Klingon were to beam down from his spaceship, he would also be an alien.
If you are a citizen of a foreign country who is in this country without following procedures prescribes by law, you are committing a crime and are an alien—ergo an illegal alien.
Now, the SPJ’s contention is that only a judge can make the determination of whether someone is illegal. This is not true. Murder is illegal and it does not take a judge to make that determination. Theft is illegal and anyone with even the most fundamental sense of right and wrong knows this. The SPJ would rather refer to these people as undocumented workers—a more genteel and less pejorative term that they contend is more accurate. This is false. If I go to work without my wallet, I am undocumented, but I am still a citizen. Many natural-born citizens do not have ID or any documentation, but are still citizens. One cannot equate undocumented with illegal.
Similarly, trying to grant amnesty to those who fall in this category and calling it “the Dream Act” is the same prevarication. The term builds on the colloquialism of the American Dream and tries to expand that dream to anyone who wants it—regardless of whether they have done what needs to be done to qualify for it. It is using words to mislead the public into supporting a liberal agenda plank by making it seem benign and obfuscate the real issue of people committing a crime by being in this country illegally.
If we think of those aliens as solely undocumented and remove the stigma of illegal, then it will make it easier to forget that they are still committing a crime and welcome them into our country with all the benefits that we as citizens enjoy. The SPJ’s contention is that the term “illegal Alien” is insulting to the latino community. Why should it be? If a latino is in this country legally, having followed the steps of citizenship, then they should know the term does not apply to them, therefore they should not be offended.
If you are an immigrant who followed the steps of citizenship, more power to you and welcome. If you are an immigrant who has not, then start the process immediately. There is no one saying we won’t welcome those who do what they are supposed to do. Yes, we are a nation of immigrants. Yes we are a melting pot. Every person who immigrated here and is now a citizen has followed the prescribed steps. Why should those who have not be allowed the same rights? Follow the law.